Truth and Beauty

Nature of Humans


   According to the Bible (though not a literal account), the first humans, Adam and Eve, are said to have been created by God. With bodies made from the dust of the ground, their souls were made in the image of God, and as a couple, they were to complement each other. Together they were to love God and one another, rule and care for (not abuse or exploit) the creation, and reproduce after their own kind. A unique bond with God, not available to any other earthly creature, was their privilege.

   Adam and Eve were created sinless and through the symbolic tree of life would have had access to eternal life, immortality and ultimate oneness with God. When they rebelled against God, however, their nature changed – the image of God in them was marred. Having been expelled from the Garden of Eden, they lost access to the tree of life -- the symbolic source of Divine Love and immortality. Their descendants likewise forfeited the privilege of in the physical life acquiring God's Love, and ultimately, in the age/life to come, immortality in the Kingdom of God. All people have since been born with a human nature and and only human love – subject to sin and "death" -- in the sense of being cut off from immortality and Divine Love that would transform their souls from the image of God to divine substance. After a relatively short physical life, their flesh-and-blood bodies return to dust where they came from, but their spirit bodies housing their soul continue in the spirit realm. 

   On the physical level, people are similar to animals – having the “breath of life” or “life principle,” in them. Unlike animals, however, each person has a soul that came from God and returns to God upon death. Through the soul, humans are capable of self-awareness, thoughts, reasoning, emotions, imagination, memory, conscience, morality, volition, and spirituality. These functions, and the degree to which they occur, set humankind apart from the rest of the earthly creatures. Because of the human spirit/soul in each person, God can discern thoughts and motives of the heart. 

   The Bible states that the penalty for sin, or the ultimate consequence of sin, is "death" as opposed to immortality. The good news, however, is that Jesus Christ came into the midst of this suffering world going contrary to God and brought and exemplified the truth of salvation through the new birth and new heart -- transformation of the soul by Divine Love imparted through the Holy Spirit. Jesus overcame death and gave hope to humans that death is not the end. God is love and offers eternal life in His Kingdom as a free gift, not desiring that any perish, but that all come to repentance and turn to him.

   In its natural state, the heart – the center of one’s being – is described as deceitful, hard, and evil. To reverse this innate nature, the heart needs changing from a “heart of stone” to a “heart of flesh.” Such transformation can only occur through God’s help – with the aid of the Holy Spirit. When a person is regenerated by the Divine Love imparted by the Spirit, their mind and soul is transformed. The Holy Spirit dwelling within gradually changes the heart to become receptive to the ways of God. A person’s thinking becomes more and more Christ-like and they are enabled to walk in obedience to God. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of immortal life.

   According to the Bible, God alone has immortality. In contrast, all life, including that of humans, comes from and is sustained by God. Without him, all life would cease. It is only by grace that humans have the opportunity to seek, and through the Holy Spirit receive, the gift of immortality and eternal life. Those who choose to live contrary to God will ultimately experience the “second death”.   

   Though presently living in a mortal “tent” subject to pain and sorrow, we are encouraged and exhorted to seek an everlasting dwelling with God in immortality. When we in this life seek God and His Love and receive the Holy Spirit, we experience a small foretaste of eternal life that will culminate in a glorious time of fullness and joy with God and all redeemed humanity.

© Eva Peck, 2010, updated 2015

Photo: Intellimon, Ltd.

For more information on the topic of humanity, feel free to visit my other website under the tab of Humanity: